Death Duties, but not the economic kind

Death Duties, but not the economic kind

– every bond, every friendship – every love – everything is interrupted by death (if not my own, the other person’s death)
– every human relation is a struggle as a result of this knowledge
– death raises big questions for all human beings
– interviewee contends hat out most human moment is when we realise our own mortality
– Cicero said: the real task of philosophy is learning to die
– being mortal defines the human condition
– it is also strangely impossible to grasp the concept of one’s own death [Freud]
– I can not really experience my own death
– if I imagine my own death, I am really experiencing my own survival [because, as Freud says, thinking is too alive to imagine one’s own death]
– the interviewee (Dennis Schmidt, State Library of NSW) also believes that being mortal is deeply bound to being moral (because of the realisation of the limits of life)
– he also believes art is much better than philosophy about thinking & speaking about mortality
– mortality is the province of literature, of poetry, of painting
– communities also commemorate the dead (soldiers)
– children honour parents
– when death & birth occur, something absolute happens – “the world” changes because of one person (despite the arithmetic that this is not possible)
– death is not graspable | no one has the answer to the question about death
– if death is unthinkable, then a person will never arrive at an authentic understanding of what it is to die
– birth reminds us too that our life is not our own (without the help of mother & father, we could not survive our own helplessness & vulnerability)
– it is worth remembering that no one bears this life alone

Source: ABC RN | The Philosopher’s Zone | Podcast date: 2 October 2016


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